Prodigiously talented young right-hand batsman, Shubman Gill, said he would love to open the innings for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) alongside the explosive Sunil Narine if given the option during the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting September 19.
Given that Knight Riders have released Chris Lynn, who will now play for Mumbai Indians (MI), there is a spot left vacant at the top. Gill wants to own that spot by having a prolific season with the bat.
"If I was given an option, I would prefer to open the innings," the 21-year-old told PTI in an interview.
Gill remains very well aware of the sense of anticipation around him since he is expected to be the batsman around whom India's top six revolves in the future. But the youngster only feels inspired to perform by the talk about him, not over-pressurised.
"I don't think it really weighs on me that much, because when I go in to bat the only thing that stays in the mind is how I would score runs in a particular situation. In my mind, the only goal is to win matches for whichever team I am playing," said Gill, who made his India debut last year on the tour of New Zealand.
Gill scored 296 runs at an average of 32.88 and strike-rate of 124.36 for the Knight Riders in IPL 2019. Hoping to repeat his performances this season, he said there isn't as much of an adjustment from playing in India to UAE and that will help him.
"No, I don't think we need to change to any kind of specific bats (in terms of weight), because in India we are used to playing on slow pitches. You need to adapt and I believe I can play on all kinds of surfaces," he said.
Gill, who did his pre-season training at Punjab state team nets under Yuvraj Singh's mentorship, is also excited by the news that the Indian legend is planning a comeback to competitive cricket.
"I think it will really be helpful for the Punjab youngsters...We spent a couple of weeks with Yuvi paaji. We were training with him and we also practised (nets) with him," he said.
"There were a lot of things that we talked about not just on the field but, you know, some things off the field. It was overall a really good experience for us."
Having now spent two seasons with KKR, Gill revealed a pleasent conversation with team co-owner, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.
"I think when I first met him (SRK), and I think I was about to make my IPL debut in that match, he just came and told me 'just go out there and express yourself'."
"For any youngster, if your owner of the team is telling you to express yourself without having the fear of being dropped or getting dropped. It's a really big thing," he signed off.